Canadian cherry season cut short by hot summer.

22 Sep , 2017 Dennis Rettke - www.freshplaza.com

The Canadian cherry season became another victim of the hot summer that has plagued growers in western North America. Yield was up over last year, however, as the main effects were the shortening of the season as well as smaller fruit sizes.

"Overall, our yield was definitely up over 2016 due to new farms coming into production, however we had a somewhat challenging year with the heat," said Julie McLachlan, of Jealous Fruits in British Columbia. "We certainly fared better than the cherry growing regions to the south, such as Washington and Oregon. However, it resulted in a compressed season where we saw an increase of fruit ripening over a shorter period than projected. Our season started in early July and concluded on August 26, where we had earlier estimated to finish between September 5 - 8."

"The fruit was below optimal sizing which was disappointing, but the quality was still excellent," McLachlan continued. "Summing up the season, it was challenging and compressed, but ultimately we were pleased with our end product, despite the smaller sizes."

Export market strong

Demand for Canadian cherries remained strong and exporters experienced a growth in demand from around the world. Buyers in Southeast Asia were not as receptive to the smaller size profiles, but McLachlan was pleased with the way exports have performed this year. She also noted that China and the US continue to be strong markets for the product. 

"The export market was really strong, and we enjoyed good arrivals of our shipments," she said. "There was an increase of fruit shipped over to the Middle East, particularly Dubai. The Southeast Asia market was off a fraction, because they typically prefer larger fruit sizes. However, markets such as China and the United States continue to be strong supporters of our fruit. Our last shipment for the season arrived in China in mid September so the fruit should continue to retail there for another two weeks."